Works by Serge Marchetta, Mara Metcalf, Maria Napolitano, Michele Provost and Masha Ryskin

February 1 - March 14, 2024

Opening Reception 
Thursday, February 8, 6 - 8 p.m. 
Snow Date: Friday, February 9, 6 – 8 p.m.

Monday - Thursday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
Friday: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Free and open to the public

The artists in the Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery’s exhibition A Confluence of Place and Space ask us to consider two distinct yet overlapping concepts: the shape of space and how we understand place.

There are many ways to connect with these ideas; they are broad topics and span a variety of disciplines, including philosophy, geography, architecture, urban design, and the many ways that we define identity and self.

For example, we could conceptualize space as a neutral container and place as more subjective and imbued with experience and memory. By way of illustration, the place where I grew up is geographically defined, but my feelings and associations about it are personal; memory and experience give it shape and nuance that geography cannot. The transformational potential of the concept means that we can think of confluence as a vessel into which ideas freely flow, mingle and ultimately take on a new form.

Serge Marchetta, Mara Metcalf, Maria Napolitano, Michele Provost, and Masha Ryskin investigate these notions through materiality, imagination, and physical processes. They share an interest in making art as a form of inquiry by asking questions such as:

How do we engage with the world? 
What are some of the links between known territories and imagined landscapes? 
Is there an invisible web of connections that structure our sensory experience of the world?

In essence, A Confluence of Place and Space invites exploration into the dynamic interplay between the specific characteristics of a location and the broader, more abstract aspects that transcend physical boundaries. It implies that there is a meaningful interaction or integration between these two dimensions, leading to a richer and more nuanced understanding of the environment or concept in question.

-Kathleen Hancock, Director, Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery

Serge Marchetta 
Since 2006, I have been working with thread in space. I produced a series of drawings on paper using embroidery and site-specific installations using the walls, floor and ceiling. In 2009, I started to combine thread with different domestic objects like a meat grinder and furniture, or gallery furniture such as pedestals. This created unusual encounters between them querying the definition linked to the function of the object, the material, and the space. I am particularly interested by the ambiguity of perception, so all my work is characterized by nuance, subtlety, and also humor, in a refined aesthetic.

Mara Metcalf 
The visceral way I experience the world is at the core of these abstract pieces. My current work is rooted in sensory experiences and often juxtaposes an overhead or shifting points of view with linear webs and layered fragments of perception. Edges don’t always meet, and borders are often crooked. Some pieces emphasize flatness; you can only see the surface and shape. Others open into a cosmic depth, showing the places between and distances apart. The resulting images reconfigure reality and parallel my passage through life: with wrong turns, backtracking, and the willingness to forge ahead.

Maria Napolitano 
My recent work is based on what I have observed, imagined, and remembered from my daily walks in the inner-city park near my home. I began this routine just before Covid and it was my lifesaver during lockdown. It has continued to be an endless source of inspiration. Making note of what I have emotionally and visually interacted with on my chosen trail, I am examining the fragile relationship we have with nature using unexpected color combinations, a diagrammatic mapping of structure, and a personal language of place and space.

Michele Provost 
This series has evolved from my ongoing curiosity about the phenomenon of remembering and forgetting. I use imagery that reflects the convergence of memory and geography; of narratives both handed down or imagined.

I began this project in 2016 after spending time in coastal Normandy and Brittany, drawing a landscape that seems, to me, to resonate with a deep sadness. The shapes and marks in my work refer to a combination of landscapes of home and of France, of maps, military diagrams, blockhouses/bunkers, cemeteries, flowers, and a French porcelain funerary wreath. The surface of my paintings is built by layering, embedding, scraping, and excavating color and line. The pieces are meant to provoke thought and act as a stimulus for further observations. We carry memories in our hearts, in our minds, and in our bones, but long after we’ve forgotten the earth remembers.

Masha Ryskin 
A sense of place and belonging is increasingly important to me, especially since my immigration from the Soviet Union. As a result, my work explores landscape and its elements through direct experience of the environment around me. I take bits and pieces of my surroundings and assemble them into imaginary environments. The work investigates the concepts of history, personal memories, and everyday rituals, as well as identity and assimilation.

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